Tracey Richardson has an inspirational and amazing story to tell - a story of success despite ongoing adversity and seemingly insurmountable odds, a story of how focus and passion can change lives. Tracey Richardson spent ten years working in Human Resources and Training and Development roles in both New Zealand and Sydney. After a short break to have her children, Tracey returned to the workforce. But the continuous pressures of running a business and intensively caring for her two sick children, both of whom have the terminal genetic condition, cystic fibrosis, finally took its toll on Tracey. Morbidly obese and clinically depressed, she was overwhelmed by her children's increasing medical issues, feeling powerless to stop their ultimate course. At this low point, Tracey nearly opted out of life, but instead set about radically changing her life, embarking on a daunting physical and mental journey to find some value and purpose. Tracey's two-year odyssey took her from 25 kilos overweight and feeling worthless and powerless about her life to training for and completing the gruelling Ironman New Zealand triathlon: a 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42km run.
She then went on to compete at the world-famous Hawaii Ironman. Tracey did this while simultaneously raising the profile of cystic fibrosis.
Tracey is NOT an elite athlete; she is a mum who juggles her hectic life to stretch her limits and find what she is made of. Her focus, passion and determination clearly demonstrate how one person can change lives! Vodafone NZ Foundation have selected her as a 2005 winner of its World of Difference award. In January 2005 Tracey was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) "For services to persons with Cystic Fibrosis". Tracey epitomises what one person can do.